Martin Dúbravka has expressed his delight after joining Newcastle United on loan from Sparta Prague until the end of the season.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper signed for Sparta Prague last summer, making 11 appearances in the Czech Republic top-flight this season. He also played twice in the Europa League group stages.
Dúbravka is eligible to make his Newcastle debut against Crystal Palace on Sunday, while the Magpies have the option to make the stay permanent at the end of the season if his loan goes well.
The Slovakian has played nine times for his country, including an appearance against England in a World Cup qualifier back in September at Wembley, where the Three Lions won 2-1.
Speaking to the Newcastle’s official website, Dúbravka couldn’t hide his happiness after joining his new club.
“I feel amazing. This is a big step in my career and also in my life,” he said.
“You can feel the energy of the people around the club. I will try to work hard, and show that I deserve to be here.”
Why Newcastle needed a goalkeeper
Due to injuries, Rafael Benitez has been forced to constantly switch with Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot between the sticks this season.
There isn’t much to separate the two shot-stoppers. Darlow has conceded more league goals per 90 minutes (1.56) than Elliot (1.31); Darlow has also made more saves per 90 minutes (2.89) than his competitor (2.44).
Much has been said about Newcastle’s transfer policy. While they brought in three necessary signings during January – Dúbravka, Kenedy and Islam Slimani – it is still debatable whether their squad is good enough to compete in the top flight.